I've been really interested in what's happening in Egypt because I use to live there. Twenty one years ago I was sitting in a coffee shop with an Egyptian friend in downtown Cairo. He made a statement to me, "Michael . . . there's a revolution coming. Mubarak will be thrown into the street."
"I don't know but when God wills."
An American friend said to me this week, referring to the Egyptian revolution, "No one saw that coming."
I begged to differ. I went on to explain, "When I lived in Cairo that we had a bundle of hundred dollar bills (US) hidden for our escape if the revolution started . . . and that was twenty years ago."
"Well why did it take so long?" he asked.
"Islamic fatalism" was my answer.
I had thought about that a lot. My friend Mazen's comments, "We will throw Mubarak out into the street . . . when God wills" may have been the impotence that kept Hosni in power so long. So, it was when the frustration of the people got to a kindling point, and the light of the flickering Facebook and Twitter ignited it, there was no stopping it. It was when the impotence yielded to the impetus that all hell broke loose.
Bringing this home to our Christian world, I often see the same thing. It is amazing that we get anything done. I have not been around this blog very much of late because I've been totally consumed with starting a new headache clinic. Starting a clinic is hard to do. Doing it as a PA rather than an MD is a mouse's mustache away from impossible. I've spent about 4 hours a night for many months working on this. I ran into my latest roadblock last night when the bank (whom had assured me that I would get the loan) started hedging.
I'm in a men's prayer group, which meets on Monday nights. It is part of my new church. I do really enjoy going. I've tip-toed around praying about candid things. You know, even with good Christian people, you are never safe.
A few weeks ago I prayed about my anxiety. Someone prayed after me a long prayer about how I need to learn to trust God. Really? So that's been my problem for the past 50 years . . . I've never known how to trust God?
But then I decided to share last night about how the bank is backing out and it is very disappointing. One of the men shared a story (that I think had a point) that it took him a long time to learn to stop beating on the door which God had closed? I knew that he intended that thought for me.
God closed the bank loan door? I don't think so. I can explain their decision in rational terms (but not here). So, if I would take that closure and the ten other closed doors in this process as God's act . . . I would go nuts to try and do this or try and do anything hard. It would make me a pile of impotent Jello.
I heard an ad on TV this week. I can't remember what it was about. But, they played the tape by John Kennedy saying that he was committing American to going to the moon. Then he added in his Bostonian accent, "We are doing this not because it is easy . . . but because it is hard." Is it now against Christian principles to do anything hard? Is it really against Christian principles to struggle and have gnashing of teeth in the process? I know that when I came home, just having hearing that the bank was hedging (after counting on this for months) I told Denise that I was depressed. I could see the silent anger in her eyes. "Who are you to have the right to be depressed," she said. I tried to get away from that conversation as fast as I could.
I have to remember that I grew up in a family where the extreme expression of emotion was common, anger, depression, grief, crying, throwing things, and great laughter. The laughter was the most common. Denise grew up in a culture where emotional words were not used, hate, love . . . or depression. My kids, when they were young, called Denise's family the museum people. They felt like grandma's was a museum and the people wax figures. To be fair, my kids called my family dysfunctional. Both sides have their strengths and their weaknesses. I prayed about this aspect of my marriage too. The men are probably confident that we are near divorce because in Christian circles you NEVER talk or pray about abrasions in your marriage . . . unless you are near divorce. I can almost guarantee that Denise and my marriage are far more stable and good than any of the other's in the group. But I digress once again.
So why can't we ever talk about doing the hard things, or the doors that close and then you beat the hell out of it until it opens for your. I think that is very liberating to know that we have the right to struggle. There is a time when you give up, but you don't give up in the face of surmountable barriers, but insurmountable ones and wisdom is knowing the difference.
I challenge you to go into any church or any Christian circle and start telling a true story in your life where all the doors didn't magically open but it seemed like each door was closed and you kept pushing ahead in spite of the difficulty. Sooner or later someone will rebuke you for fighting against God. There is something wrong with even the Christian brand of fatalism.
I saw that imonk had one of my type of postings, about decision making. I wish I could have read the posts and participated. But I've been consumed with my effort in the clinic-starting war.
I did e-mail Mazen the first day of the riots. "Mazen, is this it? Is this the big revolution?"
He answered back simply, "Enshalla."